ShieldZone – Invisible Shield

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ShieldZone are the creators of the Invisible Shield. A plastic film that was originally developed for protecting military helicopter rotor blades from damage was adapted to be used for our electronic gadgetry; gadgetry that perhaps goes through more torture than helicopter rotor blades?

ShieldZone sells this product in pre-cut pieces. So it’s simple to get the right sizes for your devices. They have nearly 400 available to order from the website.

It’s worth checking out the web site for their videos, demonstrating just how tough this material is. They put it through the key scratching test, stretch test and pen test. The invisible shield survived them all!

We put it through its paces with the MacBook Pro and Apple Remote body wrap.

The MacBook Pro body wrap comes with pre-cut sheets of the Invisible Shield and accompanying this is the pre-cut sheet for the Apple Remote.

I have to say, I was a little bit skeptical at first as to whether this stuff was going to work. However, having had it on for about a week now, the Apple Remote (occasionally subjected to being put in the pocket with keys, loose change, etc) has survived without any scratches.

The MacBook Pro is already made of anodized scratch-resistant aluminium, however for more serious and sharper objects, I doubt this material would survive on its own.

The body wrap covered more or less the entire body, with only a few minor bits exposed. Even the track pad and mouse button are covered. Other handy bits that are covered are the underside, including the battery. My first thought was, isn’t this going to cause thermal problems? The MacBook Pro already suffers from excessive heat issues that have been widely discussed on the web. You’ll be glad to know that Invisible Shield does not do anything to affect the temperature of your MacBook Pro, none that I’ve noticed at least.

The underside will be important for those who use their laptops on wide range of surfaces. You don’t want to get your shiny new and expensive MacBook Pro all scratched do you?

Alongside the mouse button and track pad protection, you also get the wrist rest protection too. Probably not as important for protecting from scratches but will definitely keep your dirty palms from leaving dirt marks on the wrist rest areas.

Personally, I’m quite careful with products like laptops, however I can see this stuff being incredibly useful in application for the iPod range in particular, or just about any other portable device that’s going in your pocket and prone to scratching. Mobile phone screens are another instance.

In case you want to know. I did test this material by using my keys and with some force, tried to carve a mark in to the Apple Remote and on the underside of my MacBook Pro. I was surprised to see no marks at all. Not even a feint mark. I was expecting something to appear but nope, nothing. I don’t know what it’s made of but this stuff really works and I recommend you don’t buy an iPod without it (unless it’s going to be in its case for the rest of its life).

ShieldZone guarantees that this protective film will last the life of your device, if not, they’ll replace it for you free of charge. That’s quite impressive, as I’ve not seen any other manufacturer of similar products offering the same re-assurance as ShieldZone does.

I’m going to give this product thumbs up because it does exactly what it says on the tin. You can’t fault them for that. However I do have some issues that I think some people might want to be wary of.

The product comes with a non-toxic liquid substance that allows for easy application of the Invisible Shield to your product. One tricky problem I came across was getting around the problem of bubbles forming when I tried to apply the Invisible Shield. It will take you several goes on larger surface areas to get rid of these bubbles and creases. Otherwise it’s really obvious that you got something there. Thankfully I only had this problem on the underside.

The Apple remote, wrist rest, track pad and mouse buttons could be applied flawlessly and without any problems. If you do get stuck, you can simply pull it off and re-apply. The adhesive works really well and credit towards ShieldZone for this.

The second issue is visibility and clarity. With my MacBook Pro the underside was protected and since its the side that people rarely see, it wasn’t too much of an issue for me. The wrist rest areas were however, and I think it took away from the visual appearance of the MacBook Pro. There is a slight rubbery texture to this film. Reminds you sometimes of what a MacBook looks like because at certain angles, your MacBook Pro will look glossy.

Pricing wise, the full MacBook Pro body wrap costs £21 and that doesn’t include cover for the Apple Remote. That’s an extra £6. So it isn’t the cheapest solution but I think if you really need and want protection, then ShieldZone should be the first place you check out, because their products really do mean business.

2006-07-10 Onwah Tsang

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